Springfield, Illinois (JFK+50) President-elect Abraham Lincoln said goodbye to the people of Springfield 153 years ago today, February 11, 1861.
Mr. Lincoln spoke on a rainy morning to a crowd of people gathered on the
city's railroad platform.
Lincoln Railroad Depot
President-elect Lincoln said...
"To this place and the kindness of these people, I owe everything."
Mr. Lincoln continued...
"I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington."
The President-elect then boarded the two car train which would make a stop in Indiana to pick up Mr. Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln.
Mr. Lincoln had announced on January 27 that he would be leaving Springfield on February 11.
AL asked the public to respect his "utmost privacy" in the interim.
The Lincolns left behind their home at the corner of 8th and Jackson Streets which they had purchased in 1844.
It was the only home Abraham Lincoln ever owned.*
The Lincoln Home
Photo by Daniel Schwen
*The Lincoln Home was donated to the State of Illinois by Robert Lincoln in 1887 under the conditions that it would always to open free to the public and well-maintained.
A ticket is required for admission today, but it is free for the asking. They do charge $2 for parking and encourage donations.
Lincoln also left behind his dog, Fido, a retriever-shepherd mix, who would never see his master again.
Abraham Lincoln was sworn in as the 16th President of the United States on March 4, 1861.